Today’s Schedule, Tuesday, March 31st

9:00 a.m. Log-in to Google Classroom for your clicker question. Just leave a comment with your answer and reason.

9:15 a.m. Super Sentences (Classroom). I’ll be able to see your answers. I’ll pick a few to post so we can give feedback.

9:45 a.m. History (Platy). Click on “Home Instruction,” and “History.”

9:45 a.m. Math lesson (Platy). Click on Home Instruction and then Math. There’ll be a short video to watch and an assignment to do. You need to post your first three answers on classroom as a comment so I can check to see that you’re doing it correctly.

11:00 a.m. Make sure you finished The Snake that Ate Florida. Be prepared to discuss it at 1:00. You also have a new reading assignment in Classroom entitled “Should We Get Rid of Daylight Savings Time?” Follow the directions posted with it. Remember, you need to hit the button “Sign in with Google Classroom” when you are accessing Storyworks.

12:00 Lunch and free time

1:00 p.m. Zoom meeting. I’ll send out the invite at 1:00.

2:00 p.m. You can listen to Room of Shadows read aloud (you can listen to all four chapters, if you want). You also need to get some PE in…go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride, or do some exercises or stretching for at least 20 minutes. I’ll post a question on Classroom asking you what you did. Make sure you’re done with your chapter book and record your nightly reading. And here is tonight’s math homework. It comes with a key. Do the assignment and use the key to see how you’re doing. If you’re missing a lot, go back and watch the math videos again, read the text book page 200, or ask your parents for a bit of coaching. Report to me in Classroom how you did.

Log-in again tomorrow at 9 a.m. for more!

This Week in Room 15

On Monday, March 30th, students are to read the article, The Snake That’s Eating Florida and answer the comprehension quiz that goes with it. You’ll find the article and quiz in Google Classroom. After clicking on the article link, click the button that says “Log-in with Google Classroom.”

Students also need to finish their chapter books (Doolittle, Riding Freedom, and Keepers of the School). We will also be having reading group discussion for each of the three book clubs on Thursday, so if you didn’t finish, you need to hustle. Remember to record your reading minutes on an assignment calendar. You can download a new one here, or if you can’t print, create one on a sheet of notebook paper. Make sure you put dates and titles!

Listen to the Chapter 1 read aloud from Room of Shadows here.

On Tuesday, March 31st, log in to Google Classroom at 9 a.m.. I’ll have activities for you to do until 1 p.m. when you need to be prepared for another Zoom meeting. I will provide a code in Google Classroom just before the meeting begins.

Please email me at if you have questions or if you need materials. Thanks!

It’s Spring Break!

Ah, that falls a bit flat, doesn’t it? Beaches are closed, you’re locked inside. I’m sorry. Still, we don’t have any classroom expectations for you this week other than to finish your chapter book, Doolittle, Riding Freedom, or Keepers of the School. I’ll be quizzing you on it next week. Make sure you’re recording all your reading minutes on your assignment calendar.

Here’s a great pic of Madison reading the newspaper in class a couple weeks ago. I wonder what news article grabbed her attention.

Otherwise, I’m still taking orders for bird house materials. I hope to have those available in the next day or two, and I plan on posting my virtual birdhouse video this week too.

Please respect the Governor’s order to stay at home. It keeps all of us safer. But do get outside. This is a good time to clean up the yard, do some gardening, to take walks (but only with your family) around the neighborhood. This is a good time to ride your bike (but stay away from other people), to help your folks clean out the garage or porch, and to do some reading.

Next week we’ll be starting full-blown online school (with some twists). You’re going to need your math book, your journal (the one we write lists in), and your log-in info for some of the programs we use it school. If you left school before the closure without those things (and your chapter book, too), email me as soon as possible. The District is working out plans about how to get them to you.

In addition to the Platy and our Google Classroom page, we’ll be introducing you to our Google “Sites” page and a group meeting platform called Zoom. It’s especially exciting because we’ll get to meet up online and talk to and see one another live! I’ll be sending out info on those items soon!

Hang in there, Rotters!

Room 15 Update

Hi families. Great to see kids answering the reading questions on Google Classroom. In case you’re having a hard time signing in, the newest questions appear below. Kids can answer them by leaving a comment.

Also, by now kids should be finishing up the three math review sheets and the states map.

See the last post for info about building a bird house at home. You have to let me know which bird house plan you want (they’re at the bottom of the post). I’ll get the pieces for you and let you know when they’re available for pick-up at the school. When you finish building, send me a picture of it to my email address at

This question is for Doolittle after reading chapter 10: If you were the pushme-pullyu, would you have wanted to go with the Doctor?

This question is for Riding Freedom after reading Chapter 6: Charlotte’s a bit of a rascal, isn’t she? What do you think about what she did to Mr. Millshark?

These questions are for Keepers after they read Chapter 7: 1. What is the Tempus Fugit? 2. I wonder why Jill changes her mind. In Chapter 6 she was telling Ben that there was nothing wrong with an amusement park, but in Chapter 7 she’s suddenly joining him in his quest to save the school. Any ideas why?

Birds Brains!

Our Room 15 students were just hitting their stride when the school closure hit.

  • Our reading groups were going well. Kids who had struggled early in the year were showing awesome growth and were really into their chapter books (Doolittle, Riding Freedom, and Keepers of the School).
  • The kids had been working very hard on their Exhibition projects. They’d done a ton of research on their bird species and were developing their green screen presentations, which were looking AMAZING.
  • We’d made a lot of progress on our bird nesting boxes (above). We were using every spare moment—lunch, planning periods, library sessions—to get small groups out in the courtyard working with hammers, drills, and measuring tape. (Thanks, by the way, to all the families who were able to donate supplies!)
  • Atop all that, the kids have been tremendously engaged by bird life. Twice this past week I lost the whole class because they leapt to their feet when a scrub jay appeared in the tree outside our windows. An ordinary scrub jay!

Let’s not let circumstance dampen their enthusiasm.  Because the point of the closure is to maintain social distancing, it would be counter-productive to spend the extended break around groups of people. Trips to the mall, the movies, and the fun center are probably out, but here is a couple of alternatives that’ll help keep all of you from going stir crazy and instead turn you into bird brains:

  • Bird-watching hikes. Roxy Ann Peak, Table Rock, the Sterling Ditch Mine Trail, and other local spots make for great hikes with sparse people. You might also enjoy a trip to the Lower Klamath Refuge. This time of year the bald eagles, coots, and giant flocks of snow geese are all fantastic. By the way, I’ve offered my students checkbook bonuses if they can snap decent pictures of identifiable birds.
  • Bird house construction at home. A handful of kids took home nesting box plans and bundles of wood pieces. They just need some parent help and the hardware to build them. Several other kids were interested in doing the same but we ran out of time. I’m willing to put together similar bundles for any of my students. They need only to select one of the plans (se below), make sure they have parent support, and let me know via email at  I can pre-cut the pieces to the plan specs or, if the parent wishes, simply select pieces to be cut at home. We’ll set a pick-up day on which I’ll leave the bundle by the back door of my classroom.  It’ll be wonderful to see the bird boxes kids bring back to school, and because it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to have the “family construction day” I’d been planning, it’ll provide a safe way for families to still be involved. (Note: if you don’t have a hole saw, we can do that back in class.)

P.S. Kids, leave a comment on this post and it’ll be worth $10 in your checkbook!

Wren Cube . . . Lucy’s Warbler . . . Simple Small Bird Box . . . Backslant Box

Extended Break Expectations

Week of March 16th:

Complete math review sheets B, C, D Finish states map Read 30 minutes per night and record it on blue assignment calendar; Finish chapter book (Doolittle, Riding Freedom, Keepers of the School); Log-in to Google Classroom for check-in and other tasks

Week of March 22nd—Spring Break:

Keep up on reading; log all your minutes on Friday of blue assignment calendar

Week of March 28th-to our return to school (tentatively April 1st):

Read 30 minutes per night; record minutes on orange assignment calendar; Log-in to Google Classroom every day to find out what other assignments are expected including in the turquoise math text and the student journal.

Students of the Month

Congrats to our Room 15 Students-of-the-Month for February, Sami D. and Kenzie G. Sami and Kenzie are eager participants in pretty much everything. They’re quick to join, quick, to volunteer, and quick to lead. For example, both frequently serve as student-teachers during our morning routine. Their willingness to take risks and put themselves out there will serve them well in the future.